FujiFilm has announced plans to acquire the equity interests in two biological drug manufacturing units of Merck.

The Japanese firm will acquire UK-based MSD Biologics and US-based Diosynth RTP, which together own all of Merck’s biomanufacting network assets as well as facilities in North Carolina, US, and Billingham, UK.

The acquisitions mark a growing expansion by FujiFilm into the medical business over recent years, following its high profile $1.4bn tender offer for Toyama Chemical in 2008.

Merck has recently struggled with manufacturing problems related to its biologics, but has confirmed its commitment to the development of manufacturing activities within both MSD Biologics and Diosynth RTP.

Although financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, Japanese newspaper Nikkei has estimated to the deal to be around 40bn yen ($489.4m)

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